UST coach tells players: Fasten your seatbelt, enjoy the ride

It was not the expected blow out but it was still a win for UST when it opened the 2nd round of the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament with a sweep against cellar dweller UE Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center.

Though they were caught slacking, especially in the 2nd frame, the Tigresses managed to keep the Lady Warriors winless in 8 outings, 25-17, 25-23, 25-16, to improve their record to 4-4.

With 27 unforced errors, the España squad gave the opponent a window of opportunity which clearly made UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes frustrated at the sidelines as he scrambled to find the right combination of players to finish the match.

“‘Yung errors namin nagpaparamdam na naman at nandyan na naman. Nawala last time, nandito na naman,” the coach admitted.

Read: Injured Pam Lastimosa hopes to play for UST again in Season 79

UST, coming off a huge win against La Salle, started slow and allowed UE to dictate the tempo of the game.

A few days before the UST-La Salle tussle, the Lady Spikers also completed a big upset against defending champion Ateneo.

“‘Yun ang isang problema. Nasa Cloud 9 sila eh ano’ng karapatan namin mapunta sa Cloud 9 eh tignan mo nga ang standing namin?” Reyes said.

“Okay ‘yung nanalo tayo ng isang laro pero nasa bottom 3 pa tayo. Paki-gising ang sarili,” he added. “Buti na nga nag-iba ang schedule. Pag NU ang kalaban namin ewan ko nasaan kami ngayon.”

In spite of the uninspired performance, the Tigresses pulled through, anchoring on their 1-2 punch in EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina, who scored 15 and 12 markers respectively.

Among the 3 playmakers who saw action for UST, it was rookie Alina Bicar who seemed to have UE’s numbers as she stepped up for Alex Cabaños and Alyssa Teope, who both struggled to deliver.

Read: Surprise package: Tin Francisco is latest ace up UST’s sleeve

Bicar finished the match with 12 excellent sets.

“Blessing pa din at medyo nanalo kahit erratic at unstable ‘yung 1st 2 setters na ginamit, sila Teope at Cabaños,” the coach told the press. “Sumabay pa ang mga opposite namin (na off ang laro).”

Veteran Carmela Tunay had to be subbed out midway through the match after committing errors to the dismay of her mentor. Tunay, who returned to the floor in the last frame, eventually turned things around and ended the game with 5 points.

On what the back-to-back wins mean to his crew, Reyes says, “Nagbago in a sense kasi nananalo na eh. From 0-3, 4-4 na kami ngayon. Medyo nagkakaroon ng resulta.”

“Kaya lang medyo rolloer coaster ride kami eh. Sabi ko sa kanila fasten your seatbelts. Enjoy the ride,” he quipped.

Read: Rookie Alyssa Teope proves doubters wrong with 1st win as setter

UST will be having a week-long break but relaxing will not be an option for the Tigresses as their next opponent will be La Salle and Reyes expects the Ramil de Jesus-led squad to be hungry for vengeance.

“Dun na ulit magkakaalaman kung gaganda ba ulit ang gising namin o babangungutin ba kami,” shared the UST mentor.

Hoping for his wards to have the proper mindset come game time, Reyes closed by saying, “Hopefully ‘yun ang dalhin nilang attitude. ‘Tinalo na natin ‘yan eh. Tatalunin ulit natin.’ Kung ganun ang magiging attitude, hindi kami gaanong mamomroblema.” — By Mac Dionisio


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